By PETER THUNELL
I always love it when friends say, “Ask her out, you have nothing to lose.” At this point I invariably think to myself, “Is it me, or do my friends put a very low price on self respect and shreds of dignity?”
The whole dating scene can be tough and for this reason, I think that it’s nice to have that certain dream person. They aren’t reachable enough to worry about asking out or getting asked out by them, so you know you’ll never have to suck it up, walk up to her and get pitifully shot down like a clay pigeon. Steve Young has been invaluable in this department.
Let’s face it, second only to memorizing the words to “Saturday’s Warrior” (or “My Turn on Earth,” whichever ’70s, kinda-false-doctrine musical you prefer), the favorite LDS past time is the round-the-clock Steve Young marriage watch.
How many times have we all heard from our friends that they saw Steve at Hogi Yogi with his new woman and how young she is. To Steve let me offer this marriage advice: don’t do it. At least not yet. I realize that you got whacked, yet again, in the noggin recently and people are telling you to get out of the game, but I say for the sake of humanity don’t retire quite yet.
Now, if my bishop reads this I’m for sure going to get called in for an interview (Bishop, don’t worry, I whole-heartedly concur with D&C 132), but let me explain. The role that Steve plays right now in LDS society is immeasurable.
For every single woman age 22 and up, there is a mother that is constantly saying, “You know why he’s not married? He hasn’t met the right one yet. He hasn’t met you.” I have two single sisters and I know that of which I speak.
For guys it seems to be different. It’s pretty normal to see a 27-year-old man marrying an 18-year-old woman. Women, though, are expected to marry someone their age or older, and who better for Mom to set her sights on than athletic, active-in-church Steve Young?
If Steve gets married, who is there left for Mom to dream of for her daughter? Broadcasters of other faiths, like Larry King (inexplicably the newest LDS icon — maybe Geraldo will be next)? Maybe an Osmond? Last I heard they’re all up in Branson, Mo., the capital of second-run Vegas entertainment. (Not that I know Vegas that well, mind you. I for one go there purely for the Krispy Kreme donuts.)
Marry an Osmond and the next thing you know you’ll be in the vast Missouri nothingness in a plaid dress that looks like a picnic tablecloth, clogging and singing “Proud to be an American” to bus loads of old people. Trust me, I’ve seen pictures.
Just like the mothers that wish for Steve for their daughter, most of the friends I run into these days love to talk about the big “M”.
Almost every time I run into a friend we start off by playing the “how-close-to-hitched-are-you” game. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting the dirt on all my friends. Heck, when I’m pumping someone for information on his love life and he says, “you don’t want to go there,” I think to myself, “‘There’ is exactly where I want to go! Please go ‘there.’ ‘There’ is where all the information I want is.”
In the end, though, I’m a hypocrite. I love to get the scoop, but when it comes to me, the only scoops I give are the little taster-spoon scoops (the ones I always get at Sugar and Spice, even when I know before hand what flavor I want). When people ask me about my love life, I become really cryptic, because anything like a change in voice inflection will result in wide-spread gossip in one of two directions.
If my voice sounds cheerful, I’m engaged. Anything less than cheerful, my girl is dumping me for an engineering major with actual earning potential (not that I’d blame her or anything).
Friends start out with “How are things going with so-and-so?” and I give the old standby, “good.”
“How good?,” they say, nodding their head down a bit and raising their eyebrows.
“Good … good, good. You know, ‘slow and low, that is the tempo,'” I reply. (At moments like that, I find quoting the Beastie Boys kind of kills all further questioning.)
I get nervous to get married because, as near as I can figure it, married friends are like death. What I mean is that with death you don’t see someone who’s dead (married) until after you’re dead (married) too.
So it is with these friends. They disappear and every now and then they are sighted, like Elvis or Bigfoot. Someone will say, “I think I saw Alex and his wife returning a waffle iron at Wal-Mart. I’m not sure it was them, but they seemed pretty happy.”
I assume that once I get hitched these friends will re-appear to welcome me into the fold, wanting to do bar-b-ques. Then your friends set the bar a notch higher and go and have kids, and unless you have kids too you won’t be seeing them anytime soon. So on the rare occasion that I do see a married friend, it’s like the kid on “The Sixth Sense.” I can see my breath and I whisper to myself, “I see dead people.”
So to bring this all back to Steve, I say finish off your last few years of playing and then look to settle down out of the public eye. Of course, by that time, when your kids turn 20 you’ll be in you 60s, but my guess is that you’ll still be able to throw a mean underhanded spiral from your rocking chair.
As for me, I plan on keeping my dream girl right where she is: the WSC third floor, next to the stairs that go to Zuka Juice. 1974’s Homecoming Queen, Sandi Smith. Come on, she’s about Steve’s age, right? Maybe she hasn’t met the right one yet. She hasn’t met me.